Sastra Robotics has the urge to promote the goods with a mark of ‘Make in India’ to elevate the GDP of Indian economy. The Present Government of India started encouraging the young Entrepreneurs’ with a program called ‘Startup India’.
Startups in India are effective working towards endorsing ‘Making in India’ concept. The best example would be the case study of Sastra Robotics functioning. Started in 2009, with three first year engineering students of Government Engineering College, Sreekrishnapuram, Palakkad, namely Aronin P, Achu Wilson and Akhil A. The three attended a conference on Robotics in Bangalore, the talks at the conference, offered them a glimpse of the potential of Robotics in India. And that began their tryst with robots. With the acquired knowledge they started making their own models and their workplace none other than the terrace on their homes. They reached a prototype of working model by 2010. At this point they had the slight temptation of IT jobs within their campus with lucrative salaries, but with determined attitudes they let go the offers to work on their dream project. Later they moved into Startup Village in Kochi and were selected as one of the Top 5 Most Promising Start-Ups of 2012 by Startup Village.
At this point the CEO of Startup village Mr Sijo Kuruvilla, taught them business aspects of running a company. All this while they were just techno brats, now they transformed to businessmen. With cognizance of business trades, the trio postponed their plans to launch a tele-presence robot, finding that the market in the country was not ready for such a product. They began to focus on a new product elective Compliance Articulator Robotic Arm (SCARA) that would bring revenue to the firm. Tie-ups were also made with three other companies in the field Switzerland based Cyberbotics, Korea based Dongbu Robot and US based Corobot.
SCARA is a robot that could be used to perform many repetitive tasks such as pick and place, 3D printing, milling, and hand writing replication. They listed the product on India Mart, an online B2B marketplace. And then they got their big break; a call from the multinational Robert Bosch.
Bosch was looking for ways to test the touch screens of their car infotainment system. The manual method of testing was laborious while the Robot could test the touch screen continuously for 2-3 days at speeds that are beyond the realm of humans.
After rigorous testing of the robot, Bosch found it suitable and has started integrating it with their production line. They have also asked for an improved version of the robot that has facilities for multi-touch and zooming. Sastra Robotics is bringing out four versions of SCARA priced from Rs 3.9 lakhs to Rs 5 lakhs, with the aim of making it affordable for the Small and Medium industries in the country. Similar robots available in the market are much more bulky and expensive than Sastra’s product, making them unaffordable for the SMEs, opines Mr Aronin one of the director of Sastra.